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Reflecting on STI in Africa as drivers for sustainable development

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Presentation on theme: "Reflecting on STI in Africa as drivers for sustainable development"— Presentation transcript:

1 Reflecting on STI in Africa as drivers for sustainable development
Lidia Brito Director Science Policy and Capacity Building Division UNESCO Consultation Workshop Windhoek, Namibia August 2013

2 Africa, reality and challenges


4 Africa’s unprecedented economic growth - facts and figures
African countries continue to grow steadily despite world economic slowdown In 2012, ¼ of African countries grew at 7% or higher and is expected to grow faster than the world average (Source: World bank, 2013) Medium term growth prospects remain strong supported by high world commodity prices , discoveries of oil and strategic minerals, more investment in regional infrastructure, trade and business growth Africa has the largest youth population under 25 years (UNESCO, 2010) Africa’s labour force would increase from the current 500 million to 1.1 billion by 2040 (Source: IMF, 2013)


6 The World Today Local decisions-global impact- Globalized Facing climate changes: unexpected and probability of more extreme events - Uncertainty Population increase - Pressure Global crisis: food, water, energy and financial - Poverty Where knowledge and technology is more and more important- Inequalities

7 New realities need paradigm shift
This rapid economic growth and increasing youth population pose challenges on already fragile environment, stressed basic needs and lifestyle African countries will need more energy, water, nutritious food, create more jobs and opportunities and reduce poverty Investment in science technology and innovation is key especially to enhance food security, energy access, water, job creation and poverty reduction Capacity building and Skills development in STI is wise investment because it is vital to reduce unemployment, inequity, and poverty and increase economic growth Invest in eco-friendly infrastructure with maintenance schedule

8 What kind of knowledge production we need for Sustainable Development?

9 Improving the international science-policy interface
A planet at risk The challenges facing a planet under pressure demand a new approach to research that is more integrative, international and solutions-oriented. We need to link high-quality focused scientific research to new policy-relevant interdisciplinary efforts for global sustainability. Integrated goals for global sustainability based on scientific evidence are needed to provide essential targets for societies New mechanisms to facilitate an interactive dialogue on global sustainability among the various stakeholders and the policy-making community at different scales. Improving the international science-policy interface

10 What kind of knowledge production we need to foster Sustainable Science and to provide solutions for Sustainable Development? Source: UNESCO (2010), Science Policy Studies and Documents in LAC, vol. 1.

11 Geographical distribution and links for the production of knowledge using the sustainable science paradigm Africa is the less connected region within the Production of Sustainable Science New Knowledge


13 Key questions to ask 1) Core Science Questions: What are the core scientific questions and issues that must be addressed in the decades ahead that will form the foundations for a science, technology and innovation that promotes sustainability? 2) Research Strategies: What research strategies will be required to enable the scientific inquiry and facilitate the research needed to address these core development questions to guarantee sustainable development? 3) Innovation Strategies: What kind of innovation strategies will be require to transform the human productive system, national and worldwide, to address the environmental and societal problems we are facing?

14 4) STI Policies and STI Governance: (a) What systems of incentive structures –including markets, rules, norms, technological impact, and STI information– can most effectively improve social capacity to guide interactions between nature and society toward more sustainable trajectories? (b) How can today's relatively independent and fragmented activities of research planning, monitoring, assessment, and decision making be better integrated into systems for adaptive management and societal learning? 5) Institutions and Infrastructure: What innovations and changes will be required to more fully enable the institutions and infrastructure essential to the conduct of science and technology activities to promote sustainability?

15 More than ever we need to build bridges, dialogue and partnership to strengthen STI governance

16 STI frameworks and possible interventions at policy level for Namibia

17 It is all about sound STI policies Development Challenges
STI Agenda Setting STI Policy Formulation STI Decision Making STI Policy Implementation Policy Evaluation Development Challenges 17

18 Implementation mechanisms
STI policies and their link to SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: transversal and structural? To contribute to poverty eradication through the application of S&T advancements Implementation mechanisms Sectoral Policies Articulation and Coordination E D U C A T I O N R E S A C H I N O V A T D I S E M N A T O Capacity Building Production / Transfer Financial Support Legal Framework VALUES AND PRINCIPLES

19 Pathologies of instruments: policy implementation failures

20 Golden Rule for the implementation of SETI policies
Policy and National Multiannual Plan Legal devices (for different sectors) Organizational structures different national ministries) Operational policy instruments (organized in a coherent way to generate synergies in order to obtain a particular long-term effect)

21 Decalogue for designing a SETI policy for sustainable development
Set objectives and goals of the SETI policy. Set priorities at the strategic level of the SETI policy. Set indicative planning strategies of the SETI policy. Set normative planning strategies of the SETI policy. Define what policies will govern the supply side of SETI (human and economic resources, capacity building, infrastructure). Define what policies will govern the demand side of SETI (strengthening and fostering innovation through the productive and services sectors, IPRs, tax exemptions, etc.). Define what policies will be established to promote networking between the supply and demand sides of SETI. Define the regional and International dimensions of SETI policies. Introduce prospective studies and future scenarios. Define the milestones during a specific multiannual policy plan.

22 STI Policies as an important component of STI for SD
In order to generate relevant information on STI policies and to tackle the endogenous Capacity building needs in developing countries, UNESCO is launching two new programmes: GOSPIN: Global Observatory on Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Instruments STIGAP: Science, Technology and Innovation Global Assessment Programme

23 STI Policies and the major challenges in STI for SD
Building human and institutional capacities: Quality Science Education for All? Strong investment in HE in particular in Graduate studies? Strengthening research and scientific institutions: research for Africa and with Africans- capacity building, infrastructure and funding Affordable technology: knowledge acquisition and local production capacity Fostering regional and sub-regional cooperation /South - South and South-North cooperation Improving the governance of S&T at the national, regional and global levels by supporting participatory science policy design, co-design and co-produce knowledge, develop science policy interface, build trust Elaborating science policy indicators, statistics, databases that define local sustainable development approaches and promote prospective studies Integrating science in national culture: Science communication

24 Strategic and visionary Leadership
Quality & relevance of STI Creativity Innovation Transdisciplinarity Anticipation Entrepreneurship Networking Partnership

25 Some final remarks... Whatever STI we invest in today must look beyond 2020 where agility is more important than strength Knowledge alone is not a definer of value but its ability to turn knowledge into intelligence and creativity. INNOVATION is key. Invest in STI in response to huge demand for food, water, health, bio- and nanotechnology propelled by indigenous knowledge has potential to create new jobs and reduce poverty Harness STI to create and recreate human capital which has the agility and innovative power to see beyond 2020 through networking, collaboration, cooperation and partnerships.

26 Thank you

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